In hopes of raising awareness about its existence to the student body, FAMU’s chapter of Florida’s anti-tobacco program STRIKE, held its first event of the semester on Tuesday.
STRIKE, the Student Tobaco Reform Initiative: Knowledge for Eternity, is part of the college advocacy initiative.
Its goal is to educate Florida college students on the ills of using tobacco products.
Its vision statement is “Florida’s collegiate population will live tobacco free.”
The purpose of the free kickoff picnic was to let the student body know that STRIKE will be active. They also solicited student volunteers for this semester.
“We hoped to get our name out [to the student body],” said Danielle Clarke, one of STRIKE’s student organizers.
“We also need volunteers for the upcoming semester, so we hope the kickoff we had today will accomplish these goals.” said the junior pharmacy student from Coral Springs.
Despite the event’s purpose, some students took advantage of the opportunity of the free food and entertainment.
“After they get done with their sandwiches, they’re going to have a smoke,” said George Rowan, 19, a computer engineering student from Harlem, N.Y.
Other students believe that STRIKE will be effective, but it could have made more of a focused effort with the kickoff.
“They can have a positive effect,” said Desiree Parramore, 21, a senior chemistry molecular biology student from Wilmington, Del.
“They just need to be more visible. I would have loved to have seen someone walking through the crowd giving information.”
STRIKE’s on campus representatives said they wanted more of a presence at the event but they lacked members and this is why they need more volunteers.
STRIKE also believes that the final decision on whether to listen to the message of not smoking lies with the students.
Natasha O. Clayton coordinator of student affairs for the counseling center and STRIKE’s faculty advisor said “After the deejay stops playing and the food is gone, the students have the option of reading and adhering to the message or passing the information off.”